Description Review: The Way of Shadows (Night Angel #1) by Brent Weeks
I’ve recently been thinking on the fact that book descriptions are incredibly important, and as fairly amateur writers we tend to get focused on getting words out more than how we will sell our work to other people—at least, that’s generally the case for me up until I decide it’s time to query publishers/agents and/or start showing my work somewhere. Then it’s a scramble to write a description that’s worthwhile and that will actually work.
Over the last few weeks, I’ve been paying more and more attention to the blurbs about the books I’ve been reading, both before and after reading the book. I’m starting to take a more critical eye to them, especially as I’m reading more “unknown” authors who are highly dependent on the value of these descriptions. Since I’m (hopefully) not too far off from being one of them, I’ve decided it’s time to start taking a more critical eye to my own descriptions, and since writing these reviews has helped my own writing, I’m hoping writing some comments on book descriptions will do me some good too. I’m going to start writing some reviews about the descriptions of the books I’ve already published reviews for here, then I might start digging back into some of the books I read before I was blogging or other books I’ve considered reading but haven’t.
These will probably pretty bumpy for a little while—I feel that I’m terrible with descriptions. And for now, at least, there will be only comments, no ratings.
For Azoth, survival is precarious. Something you never take for granted. As a guild rat, he’s grown up in the slums, and learned to judge people quickly – and to take risks. Risks like apprenticing himself to Durzo Blint.
But to be accepted, Azoth must turn his back on his old life and embrace a new identity and name. As Kylar Stern, he must learn to navigate the assassins’ world of dangerous politics and strange magics – and cultivate a flair for death.
I think this is a pretty good description, though I will say that it’s not entirely encompassing of what to expect from the story—there was a far more significant plot than just that of a guild rat growing up to be an assassin (if you read book 1 in isolation, in fact, I might argue that this character development isn’t even the primary story, even if it took up the most pages—book 2 made me adjust that belief). Still, this blurb gives you an idea of who the primary characters are, and even some insight into their personality (particularly with that first line about Durzo being an artist). Even though there are plenty of books about assassins floating around out there, this description doesn’t sound like I’m walking into a cliche or a story that I’ve already heard. It was definitely enough to get me to read the book, and that’s what really matters here.
Posted on September 17, 2013, in Description Reviews and tagged assassin, book reviews, books, brent weeks, description reviews, descriptions, fantasy, night angel, the way of shadows, writing. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.